Halt frack­ing now, urges MP

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page -

ROSIE COOPER and fel­low Lan­cashire Labour MPs have writ­ten to the En­ergy Sec­re­tary urg­ing the Gov­ern­ment to halt frack­ing im­me­di­ately, in light of re­cent earth­quakes in the county.

More than 30 earth­quakes are re­ported to have been recorded in two weeks as a re­sult of frack­ing – in­clud­ing a 1.1 mag­ni­tude tre­mor on Mon­day last week, Since work be­gan at the Pre­ston New Road site – near Lit­tle Plump­ton.

In an ur­gent ques­tion tabled to Par­lia­ment – which was re­fused – West Lan­cashire MP Ms Cooper in­tended to say: “To ask the Sec­re­tary of State for Busi­ness, En­ergy and In­dus­trial Strat­egy to make a state­ment on the re­cent earth­quakes caused by Cuadrilla’s frack­ing at Pre­ston New Road, in Lan­cashire, which fol­lows the Gov­ern­ment in­ter­ven­tion in July to over­turn Lan­cashire County Coun­cil’s re­jec­tion of the ap­pli­ca­tion.”

Af­ter not be­ing al­lowed to ask this ques­tion on the floor of the House, Ms Cooper in­ter­vened at the West­min­ster Hall de­bate on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, in a de­bate ti­tled: “That this house has con­sid­ered lo­cal in­volve­ment in shale gas de­vel­op­ment”.

The de­bate was se­cured by Mark Men­zies, MP for Fylde, where the frack­ing site is lo­cated.

Speak­ing in the de­bate, Ms Cooper said: “As a Lan­cashire MP, I was hor­ri­fied by the Gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to over­turn Lan­cashire County Coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to refuse per­mis­sion for frack­ing.

“It flies in the face of the Gov­ern­ment’s pre­tend lo­cal­ism agenda, and cur­rent at­tempts to med­dle with the process do not pass the sniff test. My con­stituents op­pose it.

“Per­haps the Tories should pinch an­other Labour pol­icy and ban frack­ing.”

Ms Cooper has now writ­ten an open let­ter to the En­ergy Sec­re­tary, Greg Clark, co-signed by Lan­cashire Labour MPs. She said: “Dis­ap­point­ingly, I wasn’t granted the op­por­tu­nity to ask an ur­gent ques­tion in Par­lia­ment, on a topic which I be­lieve and, most will agree, is a very ur­gent mat­ter – earth­quakes in Lan­cashire.

“I be­lieve it is now just and right for the Gov­ern­ment to halt frack­ing at this site, and to place a mora­to­rium on frack­ing un­til such point as they can be not just re­as­sured, but fully as­sured, that there will be no more man-made earth­quakes in Eng­land or Wales as a re­sult of frack­ing.”

Ob­jec­tors stage an anti-frack­ing protest, left; MP Rosie Cooper, right; and the Cuadrilla frack­ing site at Lit­tle Plump­ton, far right

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